Qantas recently opened up their flight training simulators at Mascot Jet Base for public experience. Upon arrival, after going through Security, you're taken into the waiting lounge which is fitted out like a business class cabin and offered refreshments while you watch a briefing video. You're then taken through the crew safety training area and see firsthand the aircraft emergency procedures, the swimming pool and "rain" in which the crew are put through every eventuality. Then it's off to the flight simulator itself, in this case a 747-400, worth A$30m. For two hours the "pilot" practices take-off, landing, cruising and instruction from a trainer who does this real time with Qantas pilots. Included in the cost you can take a second person who acts as "co-pilot" and who can also choose an airport to fly into/out of. At the end of the experience you're given a bag of memorabilia, including your flight certificate. In all it's a great experience, something for non-pilots and pilots alike. Makes you respect the experience airline pilots and crew have and when flying in future you'll be more aware of just what's happening in the cockpit.
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